VBSR Logo Vermont
Businesses
for Social Responsibility
June
2009
E-News
Will Patten

VBSR is introducing a means of measurement, the VBSR Venture, for individual companies to assess their investment in environmental and social bottom lines.  

We have long advocated for multiple bottom lines - economic, social and environmental - because we understand that healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy environment are the foundations of a healthy economy.  Recent economic trends are making us look pretty smart.  But the question now becomes: "What is a social or environmental bottom line?"

There is no standard for business performance on any of the three bottom lines.  The costs and benefits of social and environmental investments are as widely varied as the economic objectives of individual companies.  But an economic bottom line, with a host of metrics, will attract a lot more management attention and energy than a result that can't be measured.  

The Venture consists of an array of business practices that may or may not pertain to your company.  Answer those questions that you deem appropriate to your company and you will get a numeric baseline against which you can gauge your progress when you revisit the Venture again and again.  

VBSR is not setting a standard for your economic, social or environmental results.  We do, however, believe that by investing in all three, you will build a more sustainable business.  

The Venture was developed by a Burlington circle of business people who asked the question, "What does social responsibility mean for my business?"  The current version is in beta-test and can be found here.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
willp@vbsr.org
802.862.8347

In This Issue
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
Apply for VBSR Leadership Workshop with Jeffrey Hollender
VBSR Public Policy Update
Legislative Update
Article Headline
Continued Success: VBSR Intern Program
Woman of Wind Energy
Zutano celebrate 20 years
Buying Local: How it boosts the economy
New Member Spotlight - Northlands Job Corps
VBSR Bookshelf - The Small-Mart Revolution
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events

2009 VBSR Business Open Studios:
connect, learn, share, apply.

...new name, fresh focus...

Join us for this year's Business Open Studios and learn something new, think something new, meet someone new.

VBSR Business Open Studio hosted by
LineSync Architecture, Wilmington, VT
Tuesday, July 14, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org by Monday, June 22
Read More...

VBSR Business Open Studio hosted by
Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2, Brattleboro, VT
Tuesday, August 18, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by
Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne Vineyard, and Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Tuesday, September 22, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org

If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a VBSR event, contact Rita Bothfeld at 802-862-8347 or at ritab@vbsr.org.
Apply for VBSR Leadership Workshop with Jeffrey Hollender 

You are cordially invited to apply for a place in a new VBSR Leadership Workshop
Socially Responsible Leadership: Insights and Practical Strategies for Taking Your Company Forward
which will be held
Thursday, October 8, 2009
in the Burlington area (location TBA)

Discover critical next steps for sustaining your business, in an unprecedented seminar with the passionate and inspiring business leader Jeffrey Hollender, and others who are facing similar issues. Expert facilitators will help guide the discussion and ensure that everyone leaves with meaningful next steps.

Space is limited - apply now. For more information and to download an application, please visit our web site.
VBSR Public Policy Update

VT Flag ImageWe are energized and encouraged about our successful legislative accomplishments this past session despite (and more important because of) the challenging economic times.  Over the next few months we look forward to your participation in the following initiatives that will prepare us for continued success:
  • The annual member Public Policy Survey (during the month of July)
  • The fall VBSR member public policy forums (around the state during September and October)
  • The policy focus workgroups addressing a variety of issues including unemployment insurance trust fund and sustainable communities (summer and fall)
We look forward to your continued support and involvement.  Please contact Andrea Cohen, andreac@vbsr.org if you would like to learn more or get more involved. 
VBSR Legislative Update

2007 Employer Guide Banner

There was much activity since the May e-news report and after the "end" of the legislative session. 

Some of our key policy initiatives are now law including the renewable energy bill (H.446) that will go into effect without the Governor's signature. Some of the key components of that bill (standard offer contracts for renewable energy and clean energy assessment districts) were VBSR's energy priorities for 2009!

The Governor did sign the economic development bill of 2009 (H.313) which contained a VBSR economic development initiative- The "Farm to Plate" Investment Program.

Another VBSR priority, the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning (H.436) bill was vetoed by the Governor, and will not become law this year. During the June 2 special legislative session, the budget veto over-ride was successful by the narrowest of margins (100-50) in the House, and strongly in the Senate (23-5). 

For more detail see the VBSR end of session report (as of May 26) on our website. Check back soon for a special session addendum.
The VBSR Venture

Take advantage of this new membership benefit to assess your company's progress toward social responsibility.  This is a management tool to provide your company with a baseline metric against which you can measure its progress.  All information and results are solely for the use of your company and are 100% confidential.  Join the VBSR Venture toward social responsibility.

VBSR is currently beta testing the Venture and the complete tool is projected to be available in Fall 2009

For more information and a link to the VBSR Venture please click here.
Continued Success in
VBSR Intern Program
The VBSR intern program is in its second summer, and has had great success!  Throughout the first year 45 students have been placed in paid internships with dynamic Vermont businesses. 

In April we had the largest summer placement rate yet with over 15 internships offered from VBSR and Vermont businesses like: Vermont Energy Investment Corporation,  City Market, Ben and Jerry's, GreenMont Farms, Hope for Women and many more.  

"VBSR made the process of finding an intern an easy & enjoyable experience.  After providing a brief description of what we were looking for, VBSR sent over a ton of outstanding student applicants to choose from....and now we have a wonderful intern for the summer.  VBSR is the best way to find an intern, we wouldn't do it any other way," said Liz Brenna, PR Coordinator, Ben & Jerry's.  Ben and Jerry's hired a Public Relations Intern for the summer. 

The VBSR Intern Program is always ready for new internship opportunities to post.
 
To find out more information contact tarap@vbsr.org, or click here to go the Intern Program website
New Identity for National Organization, Women of Wind Energy
Interrobang recently completed a new identity, a variety of print materials, and a PowerPoint presentation for Women of Wind Energy (WoWE). Lisa Sylvester designed and developed these materials for WoWE to unveil during the recently held 'WINDPOWER Chicago' conference.
 
Established in 2005, Women of Wind Energy, a national nonprofit organization, is dedicated to promoting the engagement, professional development, and advancement of women in the wind industry.....

Read More...
Zutano celebrates 20 years,
opens a new store

MONTPELIER - In its 20th year, Cabot-based Zutano is celebrating not only two decades in business, but a new partnership with one of Manchester's most reputable businesses, the Northshire Bookstore.

While the final designs and décor are still being put in place, the business known for its colorful baby clothes is up and running in Manchester Center. Zutano has opened a store-within-a-store in the children's section of the southern Vermont bookstore....

Read More...
Buying Local:
How It Boosts the Economy
By Judith D. Schwartz

"Buy Local"-you see the decal in the store window, the sign at the farmer's market, the bright, cheerful logos for Local First Arizona, Think Boise First, Our Milwaukee, and homegrown versions across the states. The apparent message is "let's-support-local-business", a kind of community boosterism. But buying close to home may be more than a feel-good, it's-worth-paying-more-for-local matter. A number of researchers and organizations are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they're finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping money in town-and how the fate of many communities around the nation and the world increasingly depend on it....

Read More...
New Member Spotlight -
Northlands Job Corps

Investing Today in the Workforce of Tomorrow


Different needs of our youth are met by so many programs that operate at all levels. But imagine a program that offers it all: from housing, transportation, meals, medical and dental care, clothing and bi-weekly allowances, driver's education, high school level academic education, career technical training in 9 different areas, transition support and bonus of $1,200!

That is precisely what Job Corps offers to qualifying youth  - free of charge! Job Corps has been around for 45 years. Today, it is the nation's largest and most successful career technical training program for economically disadvantaged youth ages 16-24. It is operated by the U.S. Department of Labor through 122 Job Corps operations across the country.
Here in Vermont, we have Northlands Job Corps Center. Its doors open exactly 30 years ago, and it still serves around 280 students every day!  Northlands' graduates are employed today as auto technicians, welders, tree climbers, LNAs, office assistants, carpenters, cooks... they enlisted in the  military, or enrolled in advanced training within the Job Corps system. Northlands Job Corps is dedicated to helping youth reach their potential. Of course, with the current economic slowdown, getting jobs for the young graduates is not an easy task. That is why Northlands decided to enhance the quality of the training offered, and to introduce the new "green" components and certifications.

Students spend all day in classroom, but still find some time to give back to the community: they volunteer their time and work on different projects in Vergennes, Middlebury, Shelburne, Panton... Local businesses, such as Denecker Cherolet, Auto Paint Plus, Davey Tree, Shelburne Farms, Mainly Metals and many more hire Job Corps students as interns, which is an excellent way of adding youthful energy to the business and saving some money on hiring and training: students are insured through our program, and we provide transportation.

Northlands Job Corps will be celebrating 30th anniversary in August this year. There will be a series of events to celebrate this important benchmark. One of them is a Job Fair, taking place August 13 on our campus. Registration is free of charge, and all businesses and visitors are welcome!

Northlands Job Corps is locate in Vergennes, VT. Residential and non-residential students enjoy a variety of benefits, and are trained in Auto Technologies, Collision Repair, Business Technologies, Carpentry, Welding, Culinary Arts, Urban Forestry, Health Occupations and Facilities Maintenance.
For more information call (802) 877 - 0159 or e-mail to Lawrence.ivana@jobcorps.gov
Our website is http://northlands.jobcorps.gov
Newsletter Sponsorship

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INTERESTED IN SPONSORING VBSR'S NEWSLETTER?  E-mail info@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347 to secure a space today.


Welcome New VBSR Members!
AMPF

Annie's Book Stop
Art on Main

Bartleby's Books

Beauchamp & O'Rourke, Inc.

Best Appliance & Kitchen

Black Watch Farm

Bristol Cliffs Music Center

Bristol Downtown Community Partnership

Cartier Meats & Provisions

Champlain Valley Hardscapes

Clean Green Sanitation

Clear Water Filtration

Compostable Goods

Debra Howard Consulting

Evolution Physical Therapy and Yoga

Feathering the Nest

Garden Arts Custom Landscape

Green Mountain Hydroponic and Organic Garden Supply

Green Mountain Ski Furniture

Information Gallery

Kit & Chip Chamberlain

Ladabouche Furniture

Lenco, Inc

Manchester Wood

Misty Meadows Spring Water, Inc.

Mountain Greens Market & Deli

off-the-grid clothing

Rural Vermont

Solutions Through Dialogue

Summerhouse

The Book Cellar

The Vermont Herbal General Store

Vermont Bedrooms

Vermont Kitchen Supply

Vermont State Employees Credit Union

Wagatha's

Yankee Paint

Zachary Luby
VBSR Bookshelf
The Small-Mart Revolution

by:
Michael H. Shuman

2007 Employer Guide Banner

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Northshire Bookstore

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this month's featured book, please contact VBSR at 802-862-8347 or info@vbsr.org
CONTACT US
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60 Lake Street, Suite 3G
Burlington, VT 05401
802-862-8347

Our mission is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens.

We are commited to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.  For more information about our organization visit info@vbsr.org

Membership Information